You may have wondered what we have been doing since I wrote the last update at 1a Thursday morning.
Thursday: Well on Thursday most of our team members had the day off, but Paul and I had to go in to meet with the NASA vet and staff to discuss how things have gone so far and plans for future. We had a very successful meeting and I think everyone is happy with how things are progressing. After Paul and I finished with meetings about 5p, we headed up to Orlando to meet with the rest of our team members to watch the Orlando Magic basketball game – a very good game that was lost by the Magic in the final seconds.
Friday: Four of us had to return for mission specific duties for the entire day, but the rest of our team also had the day off. Static Test Firing was delayed.
Saturday: Was a “day off” for everyone – but I put it in quotes as several of us were working on manuscripts or other work related items all day. We did though make a drive to Titusville to eat at Dixie Crossroads. I remembered enjoying their food from my last time at KSC (in the late 90s) and it was still as good as I remembered! They serve free corn fritters! I had the red shrimp (only in certain seasons – and they were like eating mini lobsters). Static Test Firing was delayed.
Sunday: Was another “day off” for everyone – but again several of us are working on manuscripts and several emails have been sent to our colleagues about schedules for this coming week – which looks to be very busy – about 7a-7p each day Monday through Sunday. Those of us in Cocoa Beach are planning to go to the movie Hidden Figures later today, we thought that was appropriate since we are working at NASA.
Also, today, Team 2 from IU arrives. We have 8 people that will be heading to our hotel from Orlando later today (a few members were up in Orlando visiting friends and family and 6 members arrive today).
We are hoping that Static Test Firing will be completed today. From what I understand, it is taking longer to prepare for the testing because they are using the Space Shuttle launch pad due to the damage caused on the SpaceX launch pad with the explosion in September, and as you can imagine they are not identical. I am also under the impression that if the Static Test Firing does not occur today, then we may have another launch delay. But that is way above my pay grade. I will keep you posted as I learn more. What I did learn is it is binary – either successful or not successful. So, if successful – we should have launch coming up soon (assuming no other reason for delay – like weather), but if not successful it is likely catastrophic, and therefore likely months of delay like what happened from the September explosion.
Hopefully we will have time to get updates sent every few days but trust me the schedule is packed and at least I am exhausted after our 12 hour days. It takes us about 40 minutes to drive each way from our hotel to the buildings we are working at – so we add 1.5 hours to each day at least with commute time.
Oh, and I also learned there are absolutely no hotel rooms available in cocoa beach area this weekend or next weekend – they are all booked! One of our Army colleagues had a problem with a neighbor fighting all night and tried to move room to any hotel – had to go 10 miles further south to find a hotel in a different town.
Bonus picture of the team at an Orlando Magic basketball game.
L to R: Liming Zhao,MD, Alarbi Elhashmi, Paul Childress,MD, Nizeet Aguilar,PhD, Irushi Abeysekera,
Jeff Rytlewski, Marta Alvarez,DDS,PhD, Melissa Kacena,PhD
Written by Melissa
The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.